Monday, September 21, 2015

Welcome Fall 2015

We had our Primary Program in Sacrament Meeting a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight for Abe and I was hearing Faith sing a solo of a very sweet song called, "I Believe in Jesus".  We recorded her that morning before church.  She was so brave and sang in her beautiful, childlike voice.  I will treasure this video.

Here's a picture of the three Littles the morning of.  They said their parts beautifully and we enjoyed having Grandma and Grandpa Cannon at church with us and then over for dinner afterwards.  It was a good, good day.
Little George sat up on the stand with his arms folded the whole time.  He looked a little uncomfortable, but he wouldn't unfold his arms.  I asked Abe if he had told George to fold his arms and he proudly said he had.  I reminded Abe that we have to be careful in what we tell George to do.  He's a little like Ella Enchanted, in that he is extremely obedient.  He probably didn't need to fold his arms the whole time.

We treated ourselves to pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream.  That is the way to kick off fall!

Now, Cannon on the other hand, was told in no uncertain terms, that he had better not be too silly up on the stand.  No making faces at Clark or other friends of the older kids out in the congregation.  Cannon does so love to perform.  Here are a couple videos of him lately.
This first one is his audition piece for the part of Michael Banks for the local high school's production of Mary Poppins.  He didn't get the part, partly because he was younger than what they were looking for, but we had a grand time preparing, and auditioning is always a good experience.  I particularly enjoy his British accent.

This next one I can't really say I'm proud of, but he does keep us laughing and I enjoy him immensely.  I am proud that he is accompanying himself on the piano.

Elinor and I enjoyed a fun date the other night to a book launch party for the fifth Michael Vey book. She is quite the fan, along with a couple thousand other of the most wonderful, geeky, smarty-pants boys and girls around these parts.  She stayed up late and finished the book by the next morning.
She was a little embarrassed that I insisted on this picture, but that was the price of my company:)
Fun girl.  Unfortunately, she has been doing an awful lot of fun reading lately.  She thinks I'm crazy and that I'm the only mom in the world who would limit how much time she can read.  I've told her that for a little while she needs to lay off the "fun reading" and increase her substantive reading.  Too much reading about magic powers and the world misunderstanding you, can affect your levels of life satisfaction.
We recently had a lovely evening with friends, entertaining each other with "traumatic pet stories".  Everyone had some sort of story to share. I told the story of the death of my brother's school pet, Stinky the rat.  Jeff told about Jo Jo the guinea pig's unfortunate demise.  Clark told of losing Tito the tortoise at the park when he was 4.  Abe told about the mysterious disappearance of The Black Cat.  Did she just wander off or was she translated?  It was pretty funny.
Clark created an interesting exhibit in his room.  It's an open terrarium built on his window.  I appreciated the note on the whiteboard.  Do you see the Green Anole near the top of the foliage?
This was a few weeks back, but the little kids loved going on a bike ride with Abe.  Now that George is so good on his bike, it was time for the traditional ride to Peterson's, the local grocery store.
I think I would like to be one of these little people.  They have a pretty good time together.
It makes me so very happy to see them making up their own games, their own rules.  The older kids were a little more volatile, but they too had a world all their own, that I could observe, but I wasn't in charge of.
One of our favorite things about Peter is his teeth.  You can't see it so much in this picture, but he has a big space between his two front teeth that we just love!
Cannon and his buddies having a dance party at a friend late night a couple weeks back.  I love how uninhibited they are.
I hope they can still cut loose at Stake dances in seven years!

We Have a New Baby

At 13 months Peter was as unhappy as ever  He was regularly and frequently throwing up when he ate.  I had concluded he had a highly sensitive gag reflex, but however I tried to help him, it wasn't working.  He cried A LOT.  He hated lying down for diaper changes.  His naps were short in duration and not as frequent as they should have been.  His diapers were so frequent and messy.  Our interactions with him tended to be negative and not very rewarding.  He rarely seemed calm and settled and we really avoided taking him places because he was so unpredictable.  In short, we were all struggling.

But then earlier last week I had an idea.

I wonder if Peter could be allergic to milk?

None of my other children have had any kind of allergies.  I have no experience with allergies.  Surely, he couldn't have a milk allergy.  Could he?  It was worth a little experiment to find out.

I asked Abe to bring home some almond milk and soy milk.  Last Wednesday afternoon was the last of the dairy milk for Peter.  And consequently, it was the last of the throwing up and the shortened naps and the screaming.  He is a whole new baby.  Happy, relaxed, and playful.

I'm partly pleased with myself for figuring out why he was suffering.  But I'm more horrified that I didn't figure it out sooner.  I feel very sad that he has been so uncomfortable for so many months.  I am so grateful he is feeling better and that we are all able to enjoy him more now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Homeschool Glamour Shots

I don't know that these pictures need a lot of explanation  It was a Sunday evening photo shoot with Bethany and Elinor as the stylists, make-up artists and photographers.  There is a pretty heavy 80's influence, but I blame Abe for that.
I don't know what to say.  On some level I think I am proud.
This is how we do our "back-to-school" pictures.
George has a bright idea.

I call this one, "Not Done with My School Work Yet".
Nerds of the world unite!
Well, he's just too cute for words.  I do so love my George.
Okay, that one is actually quite good.
Are you ready for my favorite one?

Love, love, love!
Things sort of deteriorated-- not unusual, but quite loud.
I think George is preparing to body slam Bethany.  If you look past all the mess, also, not unusual, but somewhat disheartening, I am giving Clark a haircut.  How resourceful of me!
What can I say about this one?  Homeschool Glamour Shots by Deb.

Tuck Everlasting Book Club

Welcome back to Kid's Book Club 2015-2016!  I think it is going to be a great year!  We have a few more kids joining us this year and we got off to a great start today with Tuck Everlasting-- one of our favorites!
Okay, yes, this picture is totally posed, but there was real excitement when everyone arrived.  My kids have been looking forward to it for several weeks.
I love this picture of the boys discussing why it would be a good idea to drink the water from the spring and live forever.  Mostly, they thought it would be cool to jump from the highest cliff and not die.  And they could do really cool stunts in movies.
The girls were deciding why it really wouldn't be a good idea.  They were a little more thoughtful and decided it would be bad for family relationships.
Flapjacks and applesauce for our snack.
We played a game we called "Water Wheel" where they had to move the water around the circle without spilling.  They were racing the other team's circle.
Freeze tag because they were frozen in time.
Bethany and Abe (he was home this afternoon) couldn't help themselves and they had to join in the fun.
One more frogger/detective game in the front yard before it was time to go. 
It was so fun to be back together.  Some of my very fondest memories with my children are doing kid's book clubs with them and their friends.  It's a good way to get to know their friends better.
I say it's a pretty great way to spend the afternoon.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day at Lagoon

Here it is... the real reason we go to Lagoon.
We were so excited to have an old time photo with Peter in it, and especially happy that Peter was happy in it.  I'll post all of them, because we were pretty thrilled with how they all turned out.
 It's looks like all of our excess family picture taking over the years has paid off because when the photographer said smile... Man! They smiled.
We're all about division and resentment in our family.  I particularly love George in this picture.
The only real disagreement was who would be Union and who would be Confederate.  I'm not sure why Clark and I were the obvious and uncontested Rebels.  But there was no disagreement there.  Everyone else wanted to be Union.  No, we demanded Elinor and George join us.
Clark had just stuck his tongue out at Abe and was losing his tough guy persona.  Abe lost it right after the picture was snapped.
I'm just going to say it-- with the exception of Cannon, the Confederates pulled off "really mean" a lot better than the Union.
The rest of our time at Lagoon was very enjoyable as well, except that Peter was sick and I'm afraid he's probably going to get worse before he gets better.  As of this evening he had a cough, runny nose, fever and throwing up.  Poor little guy.
These were the four brave souls who went on the insane new ride, Cannibal.  We got to Lagoon very early and ran straight to it to avoid the ridiculously long line.  Faith was brave and went on it, but I understand there were tears involved while riding the elevator up to it.
Cannon, George and I loved the Sky Ride.  Abe doesn't like heights, so he's happy to stay on the ground while we go up high.
I like this sneaky picture Abe took.  The older kids are a little sensitive about having their pictures taken, so Abe stealthily took this over his should while we were walking and the kids were telling me about Cannibal.    By the way, it is no small thing when your older kids wish to talk to you.  Not much makes me happier.
And it is no small thing to be walking around with your family and realize you are not surrounded by lots of little kids anymore.  I mean, we do still have little kids and I enjoy them immensely, but we're walking around with a lot of big people now as well.  They are entertaining and witty and helpful and wonderful, but it will still take some getting used to.
 Faith's favorite ride, by far, is Bombora.  It's a pretty mild, short roller coaster and Faith loves to ride it over and over again.  And her daddy is so nice to her, that he goes on it over and over with her.
Check out George in this picture!!! Ha, ha ha!  I love it!  Don't worry, he wasn't traumatized.
The next one was "Puff" the kiddie roller coaster.
I saw George ride this one, and truthfully, he seemed much more traumatized by Puff.  It is a pretty loud little roller coaster.
Peter rode the chicken on the Merry-Go-Round and he did get pretty nervous when it started moving.  
When I go to Lagoon, I can't help but people watch.  There is just too much opportunity to look at people and think about what makes them tick.  I will not do them justice here, but I want to draw attention to the group of people I am the most impressed with at the park.  I call them, "The Dads".  These are the men who are still young enough that they could still be going to Lagoon just to enjoy themselves, but they are carrying babies, pushing strollers, holding hands of their little daughters, going on rides with their sons.  "The Moms" are just as busy, but somehow it seems so natural for the moms to be caring for their little ones.  I see it all the time-- I live it.  But to see a father, who spends so much time out in the world, providing for his family, being so gentle and kind and sacrificing with his family is a magnificent thing.  I suppose I could write much more about that, but perhaps that's for another post on another evening.
I'll just say, Abe is the ultimate DAD and he is the greatest blessing to our family.
The haunted house!  
 The family selfie on the train.  The older kids had all been off on their own on big rides and they were ready for a slower pace with the family on the train.  
I think if I could ever pause time, I'd like to right about now.
Abe went on Wicked (another big roller coaster) for the first time (and the last time) with Bethany so she didn't have to go alone.  That's love.
Elinor has officially overtaken Bethany in height.  The girls went on about four different roller coasters in a row together.  
In the end, everyone had a fun day and got to go on all the rides they wanted to-- and then some.  And then everyone was very happy to go home and catch American Ninja Warrior on TV.  It's silly, but we enjoy it.